Many readers are still emailing me about Nikon's new NF-300i 3D photo frame. I guess my previous post was mainly targeted at the new Picturetown 3D service, even though the new 3D photo frame is part of this service and was mentioned in my post. Here are some more details on the Nikon NF-300i photo frame.
Nikon was able to achieve 3D images without the use of special glasses by arranging separate images for the left and right eyes. The actual implementation was done with the help of lenticular lenses ("designed so that when viewed from slightly different angles, different images are magnified"):
On the figure above, the right eye will see the blue portion of the image, while the left eye will see the red portion of the image. Because of the different angles the left and the right eyes view the separate images on the frame, the combined picture can be perceived as 3D.
On the LCD screen, the double images are achieved by having double-density pixels horizontally. This will allow 2D and 3D images to be displayed at the same resolution. When a 3D picture is displayed, half of the pixels will be displaying the image for the left eye (red), the other half will be displaying the image for the right eye (blue):
In order for this technology to work with your 2D pictures, you will have to upload them to Picturetown 3D where Nikon will use special algorithms to create the split images that will be pushed down wirelessly to your photo frame at home.
The NF-300i is based on Android OS system and it is more than just a photo frame - it has also a calendar, weather forecast, browser, etc. Nikon wouldn't let you buy one of those frames - you can only rent them as part of Picturetown 3D membership (only in Japan for now; price: ¥1,995/$24 a month).
This is Nikon's first attempt at 3D and they have chosen a rather unique approach to implement this technology. The second interesting fact is that Nikon has chosen the Android platform as a base for this product - it will be interesting to see if they will use Android in other future products (few months ago, Nikon was looking for cooperation with online and mobile device companies).
- 7.2-inch digital frame
- “Glass less” 3D screen
- 4GB of internal memory
- USB port
- Ethernet and 802.11b/g Wi-Fi to load pictures from the Internet
- NF300i is powered by Google's mobile operating system Android 2.1 and it can also display clock, calendar, Web browser and weather forecast
- Weight: 600g
- Aspect ratio: 4:3
- 3D viewing distance: 1m
- Brightness: 400 cd / m²
- Resolution: SVGA (800 × 600)
- Supported files: Image: JPEG, MPO, Video: MPEG4 (H.264), Audio: AAC, MP3 (MPEGAudioLayer-3)
- External dimensions: 176 (W) × 156 (H) × 50 (D) mm
- Accessories: Remote Control ML-100i, AC Adapter EH-100i
Here is a picture of the buttons and connection ports of the NF-300i: